Monday, February 27, 2012

Bartenders Night Out

(drinks at Lani)

AOC in the West Village was our first stop on my birthday bar/restaurant crawl. After some beers and sandwiches, we headed to Lani Kai for some cocktails. After a few Queens Parks Swizzles and Mai Tais, we went to the Pegu Club for more cocktails. Being bartenders, we definitely appreciate a well crafted cocktail. Up a flight of stairs at this quiet West Houston spot is an awesome cocktail lounge that exudes a sexy and exotic vibe with its subtle asian accents. It's named for, and inspired by, a hangout for British colonial officers in Rangoon in the early 20th century. We had reservations otherwise we would have stayed longer.

(drinks at Pegu Club)

We headed east to Fourth Ave for our 8:00 reservation at Ippudo--an east village ramen favorite. Even with a reservation, our party of six had to wait in the packed bar area as tables were being turned. We didn't wait long although the crowded room made it seem longer. We were lucky enough to post up against the bar for a Sapporo while we watched the masses try to score a table. We were seated in an awesome three-sided booth that aligned the back wall. Ippudo is known for their ramen, but there were other delicious treats on the menu. The pork buns were among the best I've ever had while the baby octopus with wasabi was a nice treat. Shishito peppers were another delicious appetizer to stimulate your appetite before your ramen.The Ramen was incredible! The broth was so rich and flavorful that I barely spoke during dinner. I got the original "Tonkotsu" noodle soup topped with Ippudo's secret "Umami Dama" miso paste, pork chashu, cabage, kikurage, scallions, and fragrant garlic oil. I topped my ramen with pork belly! Now I know why they consider ramen Japan's soul food.

Next, we headed to Bowlmore; but there was a 2 hour wait so we headed to Fat Cat in the West Village. Fat Cat is an awesome place to go whether with friends or on a date. Ping pong, billiards,
shuffle board are just some of the games available. So grab a beer and get the competitive juices flowing. Live jazz plays and everyone is merry.

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